Twenty-one states on Tuesday sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and different federal companies to finish the nation’s much-debated masks mandate on public transportation.
The swimsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, argues that the federal mandate exceeds the CDC’s authority and interferes with state legal guidelines banning compelled masking.
“Florida has led the nation in standing up to misguided federal government policies and fighting back against heavy-handed mandates that have no scientific backing,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated in a press launch asserting the motion. “If politicians and celebrities can attend the Super Bowl unmasked, every U.S. citizen should have the right to fly unmasked. It is well past time to get rid of this unnecessary mandate and get back to normal life.”
The grievance — which names as defendants the CDC, the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, in addition to the heads of every company — seeks to finish the mandate on public transportation and set up a everlasting injunction towards its enforcement.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made ‘unprecedented assertion[s] of power,’” the lawsuit states.
The CDC declined to remark. TSA, HHS and DHS didn’t reply to a request for remark.
Florida is joined within the swimsuit by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
“It’s long past time to alleviate some of the pressure on travelers and those working in the travel industry,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody stated in a press release.
In January 2021, the CDC ordered that masks be worn on all types of public transportation, together with planes, trains, boats and buses, in addition to in all transportation hubs, corresponding to airports and subway stations.
The masks requirement has remained in place even after the CDC introduced a shift in Covid-19 steering in February, saying most Americans are secure and not using a masks in indoor settings.
Earlier this month, TSA introduced that it was extending the masks mandate for public transportation by one month. It is now set to run out on April 18.
That determination has been met with pushback from the airline trade.
Last week, the CEOs of a number of main airways and cargo carriers known as on the White House to finish masks mandates and different Covid precautions for vacationers.